The Colorado Rockies put nine runs on the board in a fifth inning explosion. The whole thing got started with a Gerardo Parra solo home run. His first round-tripper of the season tied the game at one run apiece, but as it turned out, the Rockies were just getting started.
In the next at-bat, Mark Reynolds smashed a line drive off the top of the center-field fence, coming just a few inches shy of going back-to-back with Parra. After getting Ben Paulsen on strikes, San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain found himself locked in a surprisingly difficult fight with backup catcher Tony Wolters. Wolters managed a bloop single to shallow left after 10 pitches, which seemed to visibly affect Cain.
With the game still tied, after trying to bunt until he had two strikes, Jorge De La Rose then threw out another surprisingly competitive at-bat that ended with a bloop single and broke the tie, putting the Rockies up 3-1.
"De La" looked better in every way today than in his last start.
Things really started to look bad for the Giants when a DJ LeMahieu line drive was severely underestimated by right-fielder Hunter Pence and ended up as a double. LeMahieu went 1-for-4 with a walk dragging his batting average all the way down to .438 and his OPS to 1.250.
Still, Cain got Trevor Story on strikes for the third time in the next AB and was one out away from limiting the damage to three runs in the inning. He clearly wanted no part of Carlos Gonzalez, though, in the ensuing at-bat and issued him a walk.
With Nolan Arenado coming to the plate, the Giants went to Chris Heston out of the bullpen. Arenado promptly rocketed a drive off the top of the left-field wall, becoming the second Rockie of the inning to come inches away from a home run. This one would have been a grand slam but Arenado would settle for the two-RBI double. After an intentional walk to Parra, Reynolds hit his second double of the inning and Paulsen followed with a single before the Heston was finally able to get Wolters to strike out swinging.
And just like that, in one frame, the Rockies went from down 1-0 to up 9-1.
De La Rosa was able to get two outs in the seventh, but doubles from Matt Duffy and Ehire Adrianza chased him from the game. Justin Miller gave up three hits and allowed two inherited runners to score as the Giants struck back for three runs and it was 9-4 Rockies.
The final line on De La Rosa: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. The Rockies will take that every single time.
Chad Qualls took the hill the in the eighth and whiffed on a pop-up for the Rockies third error on the day then gave up an opposite-field blast to Brandon Belt which brought the Giants to within three. But that is where the tense moments for the Rockies would end. Qualls worked out of the inning and Boone Logan worked a clean ninth around which the Rockies posted two more insurance runs on a CarGo double that kept his 18-game hit streak alive.
Final score: 11-6, Rockies.
Especially considering the late rally, Arenado's two-out double in a still two-run game was the difference. It was the second time in two days Arenado would deliver a dagger to the Giants. He tallied 9 RBI against them in the last 36 hours. His 10 RBI in the series match Garret Atkins in 2006 as the most against the Giants in one series.
Today's game was not televised, so highlights are at a minimum but this tweet pretty much encapsulates the series for Arenado and the Giants :
The Rockies moved and ... the series against the Giants in an even year when the Giants are supposed to win. It's far too early to declare anything. The positive takeaway from this series is that the Rockies didn't pitch well and still took the series from a good team. The negative takeaway from this series is that the Rockies didn't pitch well. They can't count on the offense to put up 9 runs a game. Probably.
The Rockies take on the Chicago Cubs at Wrigely tomorrow, Friday April 15th, at 12:20 MST. Chad Bettis is on the mound against Kyle Hendricks.